It is said that there is no age to dream, but only a few have the conviction of turning their dreams into reality. At an age when kids are not even conscious about their future, eight-year-old Nivaan Khandhadia has already set an example for many young chess players.
Nivaan raises the bar now by winning 100 awards (trophies + medals) at mere age of 8 years
Singapore based Mumbai boy Nivaan was introduced to chess by his father Mr. Rathin Khandhadia at the age of four and a half. Three days into the game he defeated his father. Seeing the interest and passion for the game his parents decided to send him for formal training and that’s how Nivaan entered the world of chess before the age of five. “To chase a dream and make sure your child lives his passion to the fullest calls for lots of sacrifice from emotional to physiological to financial to physical. It actually puts you in the phase of Eat Sleep Chess Repeat. It’s definitely not easy to make this happen. But as a family, we are enjoying the journey and not worried much about destiny” said Rathin, Nivaan’s father.
He is being trained under coach VishwanathSandilya at SMCA. Giving eight hours a day to the game to improve his game by learning from his mistakes made him a young master of the game. “Nivaan is a very dedicated and disciplined player and has a great future in chess”said balaji guttula, the chief coach at SMCA.
With a serious game like chess comes serious performance pressure but Nivaan’s strategy has always been clear which he learned from his parents – “either you win the game or you learn from it”. With this strategy in his mind and the support and guidance of his parents and coach Nivaan has till now competed in 106 major Chess championships, played 762 grueling tournament rounds, The crown in the jewel is the bronze medal he won in the prestigious ‘World School Championship’ and a gold medal for India in Singapore ‘National Age Championship’. He earned his Elo rating of 1137 points and World No. 10 position at the age of 6 years and was India’s youngest rated player as pey rating list May 2018. He has his name in the Indian books of records for playing the maximum number of tournaments.
Along with chess, Nivaan manages his studies and extracurricular activities equally well. While traveling for tournaments his mother Priti Khandhadia carries his textbooks and makes him study for his school exams. He loves swimming, playing badminton and cricket as a way to keep himself physically fit. “It’s very difficult to balance his chess, studies and other co-scholastic activities in addition to managing house and family. Life always puts in a scenario where prioritisation is needed. And of course chess gets the highest priority” said Priti.
His aim is to become the world’s youngest Grandmaster and also to become the World Champion one day. His parents now wish to see his name and achievements in the World book of records.
By Anushka Shrivastava